Chapter 2

Overview of Data Center Architecture

Understanding modern data center designs requires a foundational understanding of the history and evolution of data centers, so this chapter first provides that historical context and describes the driving factors that influenced and eventually led to data center design changes. The first section dives deeper into the impact of server-side, scale-up designs versus scale-out designs on the network infrastructure and why traditional architectures with Layer 2 protocols, such as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), were no longer feasible, paving the way for the Clos architecture.

This chapter also covers common data center designs, such as the 3-stage Clos fabric, the 5-stage fabric, and the collapsed spine ...

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